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Hodges Leads Stren Series Event on Kentucky Lake

May 03, 2007

BENTON, Ky. – Pro Andy Hodges of Cadiz, Ky., caught a five-bass limit weighing 22 pounds, 1 ounce Thursday to retain the lead in the $275,225 Stren Series Central Division tournament on Kentucky Lake. With a two-day catch of 10 bass weighing 41-10, he now holds a 3-pound, 2-ounce lead over second place pro Curt McGuire of Lawrenceburg, Tenn., who managed to haul in a total of 10 bass weighing 38-8 during the first two days of competition.

“I had to make adjustments today,” said Hodges, who said he covered a lot of water on Lake Barkley on the first day of competition. “I went out to repeat what I had done yesterday and I struggled. I had one fish at 11 a.m.”

Hodges said he got nervous about his approach and then altered his plan. While he started the day on Lake Barkley, he ran to Kentucky Lake and tried to pick up on a pattern there. Hodges said he caught his two biggest fish of the day pitching his bait only six to seven feet from the boat.

“There were a lot more logs floating in the middle of the lake today, so I thought the water level was a little bit down from yesterday,” Hodges said. “To be honest with you, I'm not really sure where the fish went. I do know they moved, though. They weren't where I caught them
yesterday.”

Hodges said he caught eight keepers throughout the course of the day.

“I'm not worried about catching keepers tomorrow,” Hodges said. “I'm worried about catching bigger quality fish.”

Rounding out the top five pros are Team Gain pro Koby Kreiger of Okeechobee, Fla. (10 bass, 37-7); Charlie King of Shreveport, La. (10 bass, 33-10); and Britt Cone of Benton, Ky. (10 bass, 32-15).

Robert Robinson of Mobile, Ala., earned $300 for the Snickers Big Bass award in the Pro Division thanks to a 6-pound bass he caught.

Overall there were 750 bass weighing 1,887 pounds, 14 ounces caught by pros Thursday. The catch included 108 five-bass limits.

Pros are competing for as much as $65,000, including a 519VX Ranger powered by Evinrude or Yamaha if contingency guidelines are met, and valuable points toward qualifying for the $1 million Stren Series Championship in Mobile, Ala., Nov. 8-11 for a shot at $140,000. After four qualifying events are complete in each of the circuit's five divisions, the top 40 pros from each division will advance to the championship. The highest-finishing pro from each division at the championship will also earn a spot in the $2 million 2008 Forrest Wood Cup, where they will compete against top pros from the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, Ranger Owners Tournament Championship Series and TBF (The Bass Federation) for bass fishing's biggest prize – $1 million.

Stephen Smith of Glenwood, Ark., maintained his lead in the Co-angler Division and the chase for a top award of $35,000, including a 519VX Ranger if contingency guidelines are met. He caught five bass weighing 16-3 while fishing with pro Ralph Laster of Lees Summit, Mo., Wednesday and five bass weighing 11-3 while fishing with Team Bounty pro Craig Powers of Rockwood, Tenn., Thursday for a total of 10 bass weighing 28-0.

“I fished with Craig Powers, and he was fishing real tight to the brush and covering water very thoroughly,” Smith said. “I was just trying to find places he hadn't thrown and places he was avoiding. He's pretty much a vacuum cleaner out there, but an awesome guy to fish with. He told me he would make sure I had my limit before we left.

“Sure enough, I was just picking up strays, but I managed to squeak out a limit,” Smith added.

Rounding out the top five co-anglers are James Plummer of Fairborn, Ohio (10 bass, 27-12); Barry Baldwin of Dayton, Ohio (10 bass, 27-7); Keith Newsom of Memphis, Tenn. (10 bass, 25-12); and Mike Sears of Fayetteville, Ark. (10 bass, 24-13).

Frank Divis of Fayetteville, Ark., earned $150 for the Snickers Big Bass award in the Co-angler Division thanks to a 5-pound, 3-ounce bass he caught.

Overall there were 408 bass weighing 951 pounds, 11 ounces caught by co-anglers Thursday. The catch included 25 five-bass limits.

The top 40 co-anglers from each Stren Series division will also advance to the championship, where they will fish for as much as $70,000. The highest-finishing co-angler from each division at the championship will then advance to the 2008 Forrest Wood Cup.

Anglers will take off at 6:30 each morning from Moors Resort & Marina located at 570 Moors Road in Gilbertsville, Ky. Friday's weigh-in will be held at the marina beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday's weigh-in will be held at the Wal-Mart store located at 310 W. 5th St. in Benton, Ky., beginning at 4 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.

Stren Series tournaments are four-day events consisting of two rounds. The entire field competes Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. At the conclusion of Friday's weigh-in, the field is cut to the top 10 pros and co-anglers based on the heaviest three-day accumulated weights. These anglers continue competition Saturday, with the winners determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from all four days.

FLW Outdoors historically maintains a 98 percent live release rate in all of its bass tournaments.

Named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood, FLW Outdoors administers the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Series, Stren Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail presented by Abu Garcia, Ranger Owners Tournament Championship Series, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Series, Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series and Wal-Mart FLW Striper Series. These circuits offer combined purses of nearly $43 million through 241 events in 2007.

Wal-Mart and many of America's largest and most respected companies support FLW Outdoors and its tournament trails. Wal-Mart signed on as an FLW Outdoors sponsor in 1997 and today is the world's leading supporter of tournament fishing. For more information about Wal-Mart, visit Walmart.com.

For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, browse FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000.

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